Apr 28, 2011

Hey Pesto!

This super easy, very quick pesto recipe is from a fantastic book: Preserved, Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton, Kyle Cathie Ltd.  The writing is informative and entertaining and the photographs are scrumptious.  If you have been bitten by the 'slow food and home grown veggies bug', this is definitely a book that you should have in your reportoire!  

Basil Pesto

100 g fresh basil, stalks removed
Juice of two medium lemons (i only use one)
100 g pine nuts, dry roasted in a pan until lightly coloured (In SA, pine nuts are not always so easy to come buy and also very pricey.  I substitute almonds for the pine nuts, you could also use walnuts.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
150 ml olive oil
100 g finely grated parmesan (a more affordable alternative: pecorino)
freshly ground black pepper

Blend the basil, lemon juice, nuts, salt, garlic and olive oil into a mixture resembling the texture of couscous.  Using a spatula, transfer to a bowl and stir in the parmesan and black pepper.

The pesto can be stored in a sterilised airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or you can freeze it for up to six months.

Rocket grows like a weed (welcome, nonetheless) in my garden, so i often make rocket pesto.  You could also make pesto using other herbs like coriander or parsley or a combination.  You could add a few olives to your pesto... The possibilities are endless :)

It is so handy to have a few jars of pesto in the fridge or freezer.  If you don't have energy for a fancy dinner, just boil some pasta, pop some bacon or pancetta in the oven to crisp up.  Once the pasta is boiled, toss it through with your delicious pesto, sprinkle the bacon over the top et voilà!  You could throw a few lovely red cherry tomatoes over the pasta too, or maybe some olives... Yum yum yum.... guess what i'm having for supper tonight!

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